MEXICO CITY, June 4 (Reuters) - Mexican markets slackened on Thursday, as international investors looked for signs of progress in Greek debt negotiations and slightly better-than-expected U.S. jobless claims data pointed to a Federal Reserve rate hike later this year.
Mexico’s peso , which has been weakening towards a record low reached in March, cooled 0.07 percent to 15.5031 per dollar on Thursday, souring in five of the last six sessions and touching its weakest level in five weeks.
The IPC index slid 0.38 percent to 44,561.11 points, dragged down by shares of billionaire Carlos Slim’s telecoms group America Movil, which fell 1.83 percent.
Shares in retailer Walmex rose nearly 5 percent backed by data on Wednesday showing robust sales growth in May.
Mexican growth expanded at the slowest pace in over a year in the first quarter, as exports were hurt by weak demand from the United States, the country’s top trading partner.
Fears that an imminent interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve will cause investors to dump emerging market assets have slammed the peso, which has also been battered by declining oil prices and production at state oil giant Pemex .
U.S. data, showing marginally better-than-expected jobless claims and a plunge in productivity figures, is likely to keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates later this year. Investors awaited the U.S. employment report for May, due Friday, for more clues on the Fed’s interest rate path.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on the Thursday that the end is not in sight in negotiations between Greece and its international lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal.
Greece is running out of cash and its lenders, the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, have yet to come to an agreement. The Greek finance ministry on Thursday asked them to quickly come up with more “realistic” proposals than the one offered to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday.
Mexico’s central bank held borrowing costs steady on Thursday, pointing to sluggish economic growth while noting that inflation pressures remained muted following a deep slump in the peso.
Markets in Brazil, Latin America’s top economy, were closed on Thursday for a holiday. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Miguel Gutierrez; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)